“Creating a culture of learning is as important as the training itself” – that was the key message delivered by three of the top leaders in the restaurant and hotel industries as they addressed a standing room-only crowd at the Presidents Panel of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART www.chart.org) 88th Hospitality Training Conference. The conference, attended by more than 250 top hospitality trainers, was held July 26-29, 2014 at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta.
Anthony Wedo, CEO, Ovation Brands, Kirk Kinsell, President, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Michael Cascone, President & COO, Forbes Travel Guide, joined moderator Ron Ruggless, Southwest Bureau Chief, Nation’s Restaurant News, in a candid discussion about how trainers can and need to be key change agents in the hospitality industry.
“The why is more important than the how,” said Anthony Wedo. “We need you as our training leadership to help us create a culture where everyone has ‘trainer’ in their job description. Help create the environment where employees not only demand training but also demand that everyone around look for ways to build training and performance metrics into every aspect of the guest experience.”
Kinsell echoed the need for training to be “just-in-time”, at the right place, and at the right cost. “As trainers, you play an ever increasing role in building not only the expert knowledge within our organizations but you also help set the tone for cultural inspiration,” he said. “Demand a seat at the executive table as well as the break room. Be everywhere.”
Cascone stressed that guests are more empowered with data and information than ever before, creating higher expectations for service standards. “The cadence and consistency of training creates guest service that transcends,” he stated. “The correlation with guest engagement and increased spending is a direct result of great training.”
Wedo went on to encourage each team member to take charge of their training, and to ask managers and teammates for insight on how they can make a difference in their day-to-day functions and then set out to perfect those skills. “Training is the magic around the reinvention of Ovation Brands,” he declared.
The full article from the 88th CHART conference can be viewed here.